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All in the family: Bus exec slapped with $5,000 fine for contract from his sister

The brother of a former charter school principal has admitted to an ethics violation nearly two years after he entered into an illegal school contract authorized by his sister, according to state ethics officials.

Bobby Hardrick, owner of BCH Services Group and the brother of former Miller-McCoy Academy for Mathematics and Business principal Tiffany Hardrick, admitted to violating state ethics laws and paid a $5,000 fine, according to a consent opinion the Louisiana Ethics Board will approve Friday.

The opinion, which wasn’t immediately available on the ethics board website Thursday, “concludes that a violation of L.A. R.S. 42:1113 occurred.”

That law maintains that public servants can’t award public contracts to their immediate family members:

“No public servant … or member of such a public servant’s immediate family, or legal entity in which he has a controlling interest shall bid on or enter into any contract, subcontract, or other transaction that is under the supervision or jurisdiction of the agency of such public servant.”

In 2012, auditors flagged Miller-McCoy for the Hardrick siblings’ arrangement. Tiffany Hardrick, along with former co-principal Keith Sanders, cancelled a transportation contract with Hammond’s Transportation and awarded it to brother Bobby Hardrick’s company without board approval, Miller-McCoy’s board has maintained.

Ethics administrator Kathleen Allen wouldn’t confirm or deny whether the state is also investigating Tiffany Hardrick for her role in awarding the contract. Auditors faulted her for hiring Hardrick and another family member, Latanya Graham, a former college programs director. Miller-McCoy’s board reported both incidents to the Louisiana Ethics Board.

State ethics officials can decide to file a consent opinion, in lieu of filing formal charges, Allen said. If a consent opinion is issued, the parties involved don’t have to appear for a public hearing.

Penalties for hiring family members can reach up to $10,000 per violation.

Bobby Hardrick, who no longer works for Miller-McCoy, didn’t return a call Wednesday requesting comment. Tiffany Hardrick – now an assistant superintendent of Newark Public Schools in New Jersey – also didn’t respond to a request for comment. Neither did two spokesmen with the Newark District Office.

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About Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams stays on top of the city's loosely organized collection of public schools, with a special emphasis on charter schools. In 2011 she was recognized by the Press Club of New Orleans for her reporting on charter school transparency and governance. In 2012, she was part of a team that received a National Edward R. Murrow Award for their work following a New Orleans family's recovery after Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Edna Karr Secondary School in Algiers, and she obtained her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. She can be reached at (504) 575-8191.

  • nickelndime

    Let’s get back to the RSD Miller-McCoy Charter School, shall we? Tiffany Hardrick (sister who awarded bus contract to brother – sister-brother-brother-sister). It appears that Ms. Hardrick did not exactly possess the qualificactions, in the first place, to be an administrator of a public school according to the State of Louisiana (well, blame another misque on the NACSA, Paul Pastorek, and BESE. Pastorek and NACSA may be gone, but we are still left with outside-money interests and BESE, White, Dobard, et al.):
    Search for: First Name = “Tiffany” and Last Name = “Hardrick”
    No records were found with your search parameters. Let’s go to co-principal, Mr. Sanders. KEITH JERMAINE SANDERS, seems to have fared somewhat better than co-principal Tiffany (unfortunately again, lacks administrative credentials), in as much as Mr. Sanders holds a Level 2 Certificate #504915 valid for 9/15/2010 – 9/15/2015 because Mr. Sander’s ACT/SAT scores were accepted in lieu of the PRAXIS Pre-Professional Skills Test (which means that Mr. Sanders did not actually take the professional PRAXIS exam for the following areas of certification – BUSINESS EDUCATION SUBJECTS and MATHEMATICS). Who else has time for this? Certainly not the at-risk students who have lost so much quality acadeimc time alreday at the hands of state and local officials, and will never (N-E-V-E-R) be able to catch up with their brothers and sisters who are more fortunate to have gained admittance into the selective public schools in this city (RSD and OPSB).